Consider this your all-star advice for a youthful look.
#1. Use the gold-standard treatment for thinning hair
Age-related thinning usually starts at the part, where you’ll notice a gradual widening. (Experts don’t know why it begins there). To keep your hair looking full, try minoxidil, which is FDA-approved to stimulate growth. Stronger 5-percent solutions are available for women as of 2014, in addition to 2-percent formulas. (If you’re noticing other types of thinning, we’ve got solutions for those too.)
#2. Invest in your glasses—both sun and otherwise
In the sun — Look for sunglasses with more opaque lenses and both UVA and UVB protection. They’ll keep you from squinting, which will help you avoid wrinkles and protect the delicate skin around your eyes from sun-induced discoloration. (Even the most diligent SPF-appliers often forget to apply it there, says Ranella Hirsch, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Boston). The bigger the frame, the better.
For everyday — As vision gets less sharp, other muscles in your eye area pitch in to help you focus, says Hirsch, which makes lines around the eyes worse. The right prescription can solve the problem.
#3. Think about your skin when you’re tempted by processed treats
You know that refined carbohydrates and added sugars are at the top of every nutritionists don’t-eat list, but dermatologists avoid them too. They can lead to wrinkles through a process called glycation—eating refined carbs and sugars creates a quick spike in blood sugar, and when those sugar molecules link up with the collagen in your body (which normally gives skin its elasticity), it leads to stiffness in your skin, says Whitney Bowe, MD, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
Eat more of these instead: Healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, and colorful fruits and vegetables. The fats can help lower inflammation, says Bowe, which calms redness-inducing issues like acne and rosacea, while people who ate a lot of colorful produce were judged as looking healthier and more attractive in a PLOS One study.
#4. Use retinoids
Photo: Maria Bobrova/istockphoto
It’s the one thing all dermatologists agree you should do (other than wear sunscreen). The list of their anti-aging benefits is impressive: They increase collagen production, help make your pores appear smaller and boost cell turnover to even out discoloration and brighten your skin tone. Just remember these important tips:
– If you have sensitive skin, start with an OTC product. (Retinoids can be drying and irritating, and OTC formulas have lower concentrations.)
– Apply them before bed; never in the morning. These products make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and more likely to burn.
– Less is more. You only need a pea-sized amount for your whole face.
– Keep them outside the bony ring around your eyes. The skin inside is delicate and if the retinoids lead to irritation, you’ll rub your eyes, which can lead to undereye bags, says Ellen Marmur, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology and genetics and genomic research at Mt. Sinai Medical Center.
#5. Apply sunscreen to these two overlooked spots
You can slather SPF on your face every day, but if you don’t extend the practice to your décolletage and hands, your age will still show. Hands can develop sunspots and wrinkles, says Bowe, and it’s particularly important to apply sunscreen to the backs of your hands while you’re driving, because car windshields and mirrors don’t block UVA rays. For your chest, sunscreen should extend down to your bra line, says Brooke Jackson, MD, a dermatologist and associate professor of dermatology at UNC at Chapel Hill.